EDMONTON, Alberta, (April 22, 2012) - In a back-and-forth game, Minnesota Stars FC topped FC Edmonton 4-3 at Clarke Stadium thanks to substitute Devin Del Do's last-kick heroics. The teams had traded leads from the outset in a game that saw seven goals and saw both teams play more than an hour with 10 men.
It was a nightmare start for the Stars, after Pinto played Shaun Saiko through, and the forward made no mistake from about 15 yards out, rolling a low shot past Matt VanOekel in the fourth minute. Four minutes later, the game turned in the visitors' favor.
Amani Walker flicked a pass to Rodriguez, who touched it around Edmonton goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz before Kevin Hatchi hauled the winger down, earning a straight red card as the last man. Neil Hlavaty redeemed himself for his penalty miss in the season opener, powering a low shot into the bottom corner off Misiewicz's hand to even the score and give the Stars their first goal of the season.
In the 16th minute, Kyle Altman put the team in the lead. Parker couldn't hold Simone Bracalello's free kick at the near post, and the Stars' captain scooped the ball into the empty net from two yards out.
The man advantage didn't last, though. In the 29th minute, Altman earned a red card of his own after pulling Pinto down during the chase for a ball over the top. VanOekel saved the ensuring free kick at his near post.
The Stars could have extended their lead in the 35th minute in similar circumstances to their second. Bracalello curled another free kick from the right side toward Misiewicz's far post, and the keeper again struggled to hold it, leaving a rebound on the doorstep that his defense scrambled clear before Walker could pounce.
Eight minutes into the second half, it was even. Saiko curled a free kick into the goal area from the left wing, and Edmonton captain Paul Hamilton beat Justin Davis to head home from three hards to make it 2-2. Ten minutes later, the Eddies were ahead. Pinto nodded a cross back across the goalmouth for Kyle Porter to finish from two yards.
Edmonton's lead lasted five minutes. The Stars put together their best sustained possession of the second half, with Davis feeding Del Do played a low cross for Walker, who laid it right into the path of Kentaro Takada, who sent a low shot into the side netting from eight yards out.
The game appeared headed for a draw, before Del Do's late heroics. Brian Kallman took a long throw in from the right side, and Del Do beat two defenders at the near post to head the throw past Misiewicz and off the post for the game winner.